Take Me to Another Place

tootsies orchid lounge in nashville!

Nashville is a mixed bag. There are young musicians and creative types (Jack White, Karen Elson), stiff-collared country clubbers, and Grand Ole Opry die-hards; it beckons with quiet anonymity and Southern hospitality. Ripe for visitors, the city is brimming with food, bumping with beats, and buzzing with history.

Rock Around the Clock
Git your honky-tonk on at Tootsies Orchid Lounge, where you can park yourself at the bar and hear live music daily. Country great Garth Brooks got his start at The Bluebird Cafe, a tiny, 100-seat venue spilling with music lovers.

hutton hotel!

Rest Your Laurels
Located just off Music Row, boutiquey Hotel Indigo offers comfy beds and mod design. Newish Hutton Hotel has it all: in-room cardio equipment and sleek design, and it’s pet friendly to boot. Set in a restored 19th-century railroad station, the Union Station Hotel is as grand as it gets. Don’t miss Prime 108, the hotel’s snazzy bar and steak joint.

jack’s bar-b-que!

Brave the Lines
Jack’s Bar-B-Que is worth the wait. Meat lovers go for the Tennessee pork shoulder and Texas beef brisket; the homemade sauce has its own cult following. At night, drink like it’s the Prohibition era at The Patterson House, Nashville’s answer to the speakeasy: inventive cocktails with homemade syrups and bitters, delectable bites (cinnamon beignets), and a parloresque ambiance.

sylvan park!

Eat Your Peas and Carrots
Head to artsy East Nashville for dinner at Margot Cafe & Bar. Cozy and low-key, the kitchen has a different menu each day featuring seasonal, local ingredients. Margot’s owners also run Marché Artisan Foods, a Euro-style cafe offering specialties like strawberry shortcake with sweet cornmeal biscuits. Tayst, the city’s only green-certified restaurant, serves upscale seasonal, Southern-inflected fare. Hit Sylvan Park Restaurant (4502 Murphy Road; 615-292-9275) for the classic meat and three (sides, in Southern speak), which includes fried okra, black-eyed peas, fried corn, and more. If you still have room, order a warm waffle cone oozing with Trailer Trash ice cream (vanilla, M&M’s, Oreos) from Pied Piper Creamery.

venus and mars vintage!

Droppin’ Cash in the Nash
Bespoke denim, well-worn cowboy boots, and hand-dyed scarves thrill at Imogene + Willie. Find Steven Alan, Built by Wendy, and a rainbow assortment of Converse at Two Elle. H. Audrey stocks Alexander Wang, M Z Wallace, and IRO. And your vintage oxfords, dresses, and more are handpicked by owners Amy Patterson and Karen Elson at Venus and Mars the Showroom (now closed).

Photo: Idovermani / Flickr; Courtesy of Hutton Hotel; Smithereen11 / Flickr; WordRidden / Flickr; Courtesy of Venus and Mars The Showroom